‘It Was One Of My Biggest Challenges’ – Smilla Sundell Reflects On Emotional Win Over Natalia Diachkova

Smilla Sundell Natalia Diachkova ONE Fight Night 22 60

ONE Fight Night 22 on Prime Video was a roller coaster of emotions for Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell, but the support she received would ultimately push her through the adversity.  

Despite losing the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title on the scale when she failed to make weight, the 19-year-old sensation managed to hold it together to score a second-round stoppage over Natalia “Karelian Lynx” Diachkova on Friday, May 3. 

Sundell was understandably devastated to lose the gold before the first bell had even sounded.

However, an outpouring of love from fellow fighters, fans, and family helped her claim the impressive victory at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.  

“The Hurricane” told onefc.com afterward:  

“It’s been hard this last day. I’ve been very sad. But I’ve had many people online supporting me. And it means a lot to me. It kept me going [in the fight].

“I can’t thank people enough. It was tough because I didn’t make the weight. But I’ve had very nice people reaching out to me. Angela Lee reached out to me – Allycia (Hellen Rodrigues), Milana (Bjelogrlic), and so many more. I have everyone on my side. I’m very thankful for that.  

“And I’m thankful for everyone who came to cheer me on today at Lumpinee and all around the world watching. It means the world to me. I had family coming out from Sweden, Australia, and Vietnam. Yeah, I’m just so thankful.” 

As well as being in a tough spot mentally, Sundell also had her body pushed to its limits in the fight with Diachkova.

The hard-hitting Russian hurt the teenage phenom with some heavy punches in the first stanza and even sent her to the canvas with a thudding spinning back kick.  

“Karelian Lynx” then came out swinging in the second round, but Sundell weathered the storm with her resilience – and eventually earned the statement finish.

The Swede said of Diachkova:

“It was one of my biggest challenges. She got me good in the first round. So yeah, she’s definitely at the top. 

“My vision was very blurry in the first round. In the second round, I was a bit shaky too as well. I don’t know where I was hitting, to be honest. And I don’t know what I was doing in the fight. I just knew I went to the floor once. And that got me very angry. And I just had to go, go, go. 

“I knew I couldn’t stop there because I had my family around me. And I wanted to show them that I’m still the best.” 

Sundell: ‘I Really Want My Belt Back’

Smilla Sundell rallied through some intense pressure to turn the tables on Natalia Diachkova and seal the victory at ONE Fight Night 22.  

Fighting on autopilot, the young star bit down on her mouthpiece and fired back at the Russian, stunning her with body shots before unleashing a volley of punches to score the knockout win.  

After feeling her rival’s power, “The Hurricane” knew it was essential to finish the contest as soon as the opportunity presented itself:

“I saw she got hurt to her body. If she would have gone to the ground, she would have got an eight-count, but she didn’t. She went into the ropes. And that made me confused. Because then the referee would have to stop the fight.  

“But I knew I just had to keep going until he stopped it.” 

The win was bittersweet for Sundell, who improved to 5-0 in ONE Championship but lost her ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title anyway. 

Although “The Hurricane” suggested she would like the promotion to establish a new women’s flyweight Muay Thai division that would suit her tall frame better, she’s still determined to reclaim the strawweight strap.

Sundell added:

“I really want my belt back. I will get it back, I think. But I also want another weight division. 

“It doesn’t matter who I fight. I just love fighting. So, I’ll face anyone who wants to step into the ring with me.” 

More in News

Avatar PK Saenchai Kiamran Nabati ONE Friday Fights 55 28
Gabriel Sousa
Mikey Musumeci Jarred Brooks ONE Fight Night 13 72
Yodphupa Wimanair Soner Sen ONE Friday Fights 63 48
Yodphupa Wimanair Soner Sen
Denis Puric Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat ONE Fight Night 17 48
Jacob Smith Denis Puric ONE Fight Night 21 24
Superlek Kiatmoo9 Takeru Segawa ONE 165 34
Jonathan Di Bella Danial Williams ONE Fight Night 15 7
Denice Zamboanga
Antar Kacem Yodphupa Wimanair ONE Friday Fights 28 11
ET Wankhongohm MBK Mongkolkaew Sor Sommai ONE Friday Fights 62 10